I suspect this Year From Hell began with pride. The sin of pride is one that strikes all of us, even when we think we are so humble. Over the years--even before I became a Catholic--it seemed clear to me that if I dared to think I was untouchable in some area, I would soon be proven wrong. Think you're a good college student? A hard class comes along to kick you in the pants and bring your GPA down. Think you're a cute woman who can land a handsome guy? A handsome guy dumps you and breaks your heat. Think you're a good teacher? The Year From Hell makes it clear you have a lot to learn still.
So, pride . . . it really does goeth before a fall. Always.
I acknowledge my sin of pride. Lord, please help me, I am a prideful woman. Help me to know I am weak and worthless without your grace and love. Let me consider myself a lowly worm, and I shall be happy, but that I am able to know you, love you, and serve you.
And yet, I do believe there has been another element in this Year From Hell. I used to be a devout atheist. And now, I'm a devout Catholic. While I haven't yet been able to fully write my conversion story, suffice it to say that it was a long time coming. I was raised to believe that God was myth, created by humans who needed to comfort themselves in the face of an uncertain natural world. I believed in the power of humanity. I learned to say, "Religion is the opiate of the masses!" at an early age. Satan was no doubt quite happy in my contempt for the foolishness of religion.
But once I was baptized and confirmed in the one, true church, Satan knew he'd lost a follower. He has been nipping at my heels ever since, howling and threatening my faith. This fear, these tears tonight--it's no longer about the sin of my pride. It's Satan at work, trying to convince me that God isn't real, God isn't listening, that God doesn't care or have a plan for me.
It's those moments when I hold my Brown Scapular; when I recite the Hail Mary; when I beg for the Holy Spirit to come to me; when I get on my knees before the Sacred Heart of Jesus and beg for help.
It's those moments when I know, more than ever, that I love my God and I know He is holding me up.
God is with us always, even in our suffering. Let not our pride and our pain blind us to His love and turn us to the evil one.
Friends, if you're reading this, please leave a comment and let me know you'll say a prayer--for me, and for every other Christian struggling with pride, and battling the evil one. May God bless you.